Friday, December 5, 2008

B(r)anding the Thieves

I write on my hand to acknowledge things.
It's usually in pen or a thin point permanent marker.
It's usually red or blue and it outlines the part of my hand
between my index finger and my thumb
that perfectly fits into someone's mouth.

Glass negatives, printed backwards. Each name and purported crime has been found, documented and written down again, somewhere new, making a new thing out of an old history.

Someone tried to forget this. Someone else tries to remember.

I don't scribble on my own hand only because I am a tactile whore.
I don't do it to remember a name or jog my memory for when my day will be slowly filled in the next minutes or hours. I do it because the act of recording is the making of a new memory. It makes the shallow water deep and the deep water less murky. If it were insisted that I do it to remember, it would be to remember that I
desire/enjoy/run from certain things.

I make lists in this manner because I can. They don't mean anything.
There's nothing wrong with doing something that doesn't mean anything.

Or maybe it means that I like things that have
the grand possibility of being forgotten.

The man second from the right was booked for thievery like the rest of the men near him. He, unlike the rest however, will escape any sort of trial, prosecution or sentencing. He will never be more than indicted. All of his charges will be dropped.
You know it just by looking at him, don't you? It's also the truth.

The man to his right might be related. Might be his brother. But the name could be a coincidence.
Might be nothing more to him than a partner, might not even be that.

I fall asleep in class some days when the teacher turns off the lights and the projector, attached by a series of strong plastic pieces to the ceiling above my head, hums. It's cliche, it is, but the machine hums and malfunctions and skips slides and talks back and makes its own decisions. The ghost in the machine is dead. The machine is the ghost.

These people, arrested and posed (in poses of their own choosing and with their consent) still have creases in their pressed coats. Their knees press the cloth of their pants, their hands are hidden, their eyes are white, their faces are scarred or not scarred and so beautiful you want to lick them -- they are honey wax, they are so real.

Faces and bodies and particulars so real that they are not real.
They are named & listed not out of fear that they will be forgotten
but because someone has the desire to carve into glass
a few letters and numbers that mean something
possible and tangible and dark, however momentarily.

Photos found via this fantastic flickr site: there are thousands more, go see them


Josh Gentry said...

Amazing photographs. Your commentary adds.

Anonymous said...

awesome. can you tell us more about the pictures, please? where did you find them - did you and if so how did you edit them...
the text really adds.